Llanyrafon Manor, Cwmbrȃn

Llanyrafon Manor, Cwmbrȃn

This large house is now a rural heritage centre, run by Torfaen County Borough Council and local volunteers.

A timber-framed medieval building on the site was possibly a food store for the monks of Llantarnam Abbey. Some of its remains can be seen today (behind the lift inside the manor). The site was sold after monasteries were dissolved in the 1530s. In 1616 Walter Griffiths, a prominent lawyer, bought the site, which by then featured a stone house (now the left-hand section of the mansion as you view the frontage).

It’s thought most of the rest of the manor was built in the early 17th century. The Griffiths family owned it for centuries. You can see memorials to Charles Griffiths (d.1696) and some of his descendants in All Saints’ Church, Llanfrechfa.

The manor estate was sold in 1892. The building soon became accommodation for the estate’s farm workers. The owners, the Pilliner family, lived in Llanyrafon House, which is nearby. The farm continued to produce cider well into the 20th century.

During the First World War, three prisoners of war worked on the farm. Rupert Pilliner of Llanyrafon, a Second Lieutenant with the Royal Field Artillery, was Mentioned in Dispatches for his bravery. He died in Belgium, only three months into the war, aged 23. He’s commemorated on Llanfrechfa war memorial.

In the Second World War, members of the Women’s Land Army worked the farm. They weren’t from farming families but learned how to perform tasks including ploughing, milking, harvesting and digging.

After the war, the manor’s historical importance was officially recognised. The building was bought by the corporation set up to develop the new town of Cwmbrȃn but was boarded up and unsafe in the 1970s. It passed into Torfaen council’s hands in 2008. The Llanyrafon Manor Community Group, formed in 2006 to save the building, obtained grants from many sources and the restored manor was opened to the public in 2012. Today group members hold events and greet visitors at weekends, often in the costumes of the manor’s early decades.

Postcode: NP44 8HT    View Location Map

Website of Llanyrafon Manor Rural Heritage Centre